David B. Larson

David B. Larson, M.D., was a psychiatrist trained at Duke, who founded and directed the National Institute for Healthcare Research and was a leader in the religion and health research field. He died suddenly at the young age of 54 on March 5, 2002. The David B. Larson Memorial Lecture was established in 2003 to honor Dr. Larson's pioneering work.

David B. Larson Memorial Lecture

The 16th Annual David B. Larson Memorial Lecture will be held Thursday, March 1, 2018. The speaker will be Warren Kinghorn, M.D., Th.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center and Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke Divinity School. The title, location and time of the lecture are listed below. All are welcome and no reservation is required.  Contact Dr. Koenig (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.



From Machines to Wayfarers:   How Not to be a Dualist in Health Care

 Thursday, March 1, 2018
5:30 - 6:30PM
Duke University Hospital North, Rm 2001

Presented by

Warren Kinghorn, M.D., Th.D.

Brief Summary

In an age of brain science, modern health care practitioners are often eager to reject any appearance of Rene Descartes' dualism of mind and body.  But avoiding Cartesian dualism is more than simply affirming that human thinking is embodied; it is also necessary to reject the presumption that the body is a kind of machine that can be manipulated in a way that renders scientists and practitioners, in Descartes' words, the "lords and possessors of nature."  In this session we will examine ways that modern biomedicine continues to bear the costly marks of Cartesian dualism, and how this is reinforced by individualistic and instrumental ways of speaking about diagnosis and therapy.   Drawing not from Descartes but from the Christian theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas, we will then consider an approach to health care that considers human beings not as machines but as embodied wayfarers, with a markedly different perspective diagnosis, therapy, and healing.

Warren Kinghorn, M.D., Th.D.  Dr. Kinghorn is a psychiatrist and theologian whose work centers on the role of religious communities in caring for persons with mental health problems and on ways in which Christian communities engage practices of modern health care. Jointly appointed within Duke Divinity School (Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology) and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Duke University Medical Center (Associate Professor of Psychiatry), he is a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center and core teaching faculty member of the Duke Psychiatry Residency Program. Within the Divinity School, he works closely with students and faculty members interested in exploring the ways in which theology and philosophy might constructively inform Christian engagement with modern medicine and psychiatry.  His current scholarly interests include the moral and theological dimensions of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, the applicability of virtue theory to the vocational formation of clinicians and clergy, and the contributions of the theology and philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas to contemporary debates about psychiatric diagnosis, psychiatric technology, and human flourishing. Dr. Kinghorn completed his medical training at Harvard Medical School and his theological degree at Duke Divinity School.

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